Coming up with ideas for your content is hard.
Coming up with content ideas that gets you leads and clients can seem even harder.
The key is to build authority and trust with your audience using your content.
How do you build your authority and trust with your audience using your content?
In this Blog, I’m going to take you through how to create and use the right content to build trust and authority with your audience, using 6 key topics.
Get inside the head of your audience
No matter what industry you’re in, your buyers will research up to six topics before making a decision to buy a product or service online.
Google has a posh name for this. The Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT for short. The ZMOT refers to the moment in the buying process when the consumer researches a product prior to purchase.
What did you do before you made a decent sized purchase?
I know what you did. You Googled it.
We Google everything these days and before we buy anything, we research it. We check it out to within an inch of its life.
We all want to make sure we’re making the best decision we can so we’re not wasting our time and money.
How can you help your ideal client decide to buy from you?
Write content that informs and educates your audience around the 6 topics they research BEFORE they decide to buy.
The six topics are:
- Cost questions – How much?
- Problems questions (what the drawbacks and issues are)
- Comparisons (your product versus another)
- How to …
Most businesses, let’s be honest don’t like to talk about these topics on their websites.
Most businesses again, let’s be honest don’t know how to talk about these topics on their websites.
The business that does talk about these topics? Stands a much better chance of winning more clients and customers.
Let’s dive in a bit deeper to these topics, and discover why and how creating this type of content works and what content you can create.
1. Cost Questions – How much?
When you think about it. Most people will checkout costs online before they buy and they get frustrated when they can’t find that information.
What’s stopping you talking about price or costs on your website?
Let’s have a look at the most common reasons people don’t talk about prices on their website.
Your price depends on the project. They can go up. They can go down. It depends on the project. BUT you can still write about price.
And here’s how.
What do your prices start from?
This alone gives an indication of the minimum it’s going to cost to work with you or to buy from you.
You can then explain more about what you do and the costs involved.
So far so good but I sense a but…
You don’t want your competition to find out what you charge. So what if they find out what you charge? Chances are they have an idea what you’re charging anyway.
What if you’re too expensive and people won’t buy? It’s not always the cheapest option people are after. What they’re after is value, to work with someone they trust, get along with – there’s so much more than price to be considered.
It’s how you talk about your prices that makes the difference.
What content can you write that discusses your prices?
Here’s five ideas for you:
- Explain what makes the price of your service vary.
- Explain the difference in the price between your different products or services you offer.
- Discuss why you’re more expensive or cheaper than others.
- Discuss the costs in your industry and where your prices sit within it.
- Explain where your prices start.
Some great price content examples:
Louise Harnby – How much does fiction copyediting and proofreading cost?
Col Gray – How much does a logo cost?
River Pools – Inground pool prices 2020
2. Problems Questions (what the drawbacks and issues are)
There’s always “those” niggly questions that people want answered isn’t there?
Where on earth do you start with these ones.
Marcus Sheridan calls this “The Elephant in the room.”
He recognises that no matter what industry you are in there’s problems or perceived problems.
The Problems With Swimming Pools
Marcus used to sell swimming pools so he uses swimming pools in his examples.
In this example from one of his Blogs, he uses fiberglass pools and the problems with them.
“Fiberglass pools are not for everybody. In fact, there are times when other types of pools are a better fit. For example, a fiberglass pool doesn’t get wider than 16 feet, it doesn’t get longer than 40 feet, and it doesn’t get deeper than 8 feet. You also can’t customize it. But if you’re looking for a low-maintenance pool that’s less than 16×40 and less than 8 feet deep, and you can find a shape and size that fits your needs, it might be a great choice for you.”
How useful is this? He explains the problems of fiberglass pools and this information helps out his target audience.
Very clever, eh?
What’s stopping you talking about problems in your industry on your website?
Let’s have a little think about what’s holding you back from writing and creating this type of content.
What if the problems you write about put your customer off buying from you?
The thing is people in your audience aren’t daft and chances are they’re aware or already come across problems with your industry/service or product. So it makes a lot of sense to answer their questions.
Remember, it’s all about building your trust and authority with them.
What if the problems you write about give your competition an advantage over you?
Are you ready for this light-bulb moment?
It actually gives the advantage to YOU. If your competition aren’t writing about it and you are, you’re going to get so much respect for your honesty, not to mention how blooming helpful you’ve been.. That puts you ahead of your competition and gets more eyeballs on your content and your website.
What content can you write that discusses problems with your industry/product or service?
Discuss your particular industry
For example, some people may believe that counselling or coaching is just a chat. Explain why it’s different.
Discuss something specific about your products or services
For example, some people don’t think it’s worth hiring a publisher when they write a book) you can discuss your thoughts on this.
To get you started, here’s two questions:
- What does your competition say is a negative about what you sell/offer?
- What do your consumers and buyers see as the negatives of your products and services?
Great problem content examples
River Pools – Top 5 Fiberglass pool problems and solutions.
3. Comparisons (This or that)
So many choices, isn’t there? Do you buy this one or that one?
Or there’s a list of possibilities that can feel endless. Let’s be honest. We can’t be everyone’s cup of tea which means not everyone will buy from us.
BUT what we can do is aim to be the most helpful to our audience by comparing our service or products to others.
Creating content that’s a versus or a comparison of other things our audience will find useful.
What would a piece of versus or a comparison content look like?
I like to call them a “this or that” piece of content.
Imagine you want to buy a washing machine and you’ve heard a Hotpoint is good but you’ve also heard a Beko washing machine is a good buy.
You don’t want to be wasting money on buying the wrong one so when you search online you compare one against the other.
Perhaps: Hotpoint v Beko
What’s stopping you talking about comparisons of other products or services on your website?
You’re worried the reader will prefer what you’ve recommended.
That’s perfectly normal to feel like this.
But remember, you’re not going to be everyone’s first choice but by creating content that talks openly and honestly, you’re going a long way to building trust and positioning yourself as an authority in your industry.
What if your competition gets a bit annoyed that you’re talking about their product or service on your website?
You’re going to be talking about them honestly and respectfully so they don’t have anything to be worried about.
Look at it this way. If you’re doing more of the talking about them than they are about themselves, you’re being more useful to YOUR audience than they are.
What content can you write that’s a comparison (or versus) for products or services for your industry?
Compare your products or services with another business
Let’s stick with washing machines and let’s pretend you work for Whirlpool. Good comparison content would be Beko v Hotpoint.
Compare different solutions
You can also compare different solutions that are available to your audience that solves a problem.
If you knew your audience was weighing up hosting for their website, you might create content like this.
Free hosting for your website v Paid for hosting for your website
Compare different methodologies specific to your industry
There’s lots of different ways to do things. If you knew your audience looked for different ways to do research, you could create content like this.
Different types of market research: Focus groups v Surveys v primary v Secondary v social media listening
Compare useful tools
Your audience may be weighing up different tools or equipment to use so again, be useful and helpful and create content for them.
Hootsuite v Buffer for social media scheduling
Great comparison and versus examples:
Gillies and Mackay – What’s the best type of cladding for a shed? Tonuge and groove v overlapping cladding (love the title for this blog. It includes “best” too so you get two for the price of one).
PixelsInks – Fee fonts v paid for fonts
When we buy, we like to buy the best we can afford. We like to know what’s the best of whatever it is we’re searching for.
So we head to Google and search for the “best” don’t we?
Google “best umbrella UK” and you’ll see 193,000,000 results.
Even when it comes to buying an umbrella, we want to buy the best.
Here’s the thing though. The majority of the “Best” type of content is published by websites that are independent and not by those in the industry. Think Which? and Good Housekeeping.
Are you missing out by not creating “Best” type of content?
Yes you are and here’s why.
Because when you answer more of the questions asked by your audience what happens?
That’s right! The more trust and authority they have with you.
What’s stopping you creating “best of” content about other products or services on your website?
Let’s get to the nitty-gritty.
We can agree that it’s tough enough promoting your own business let alone someone else’s product or service.
I always have a but don’t I?
You’re not the only fab and amazing person doing what you do.
What makes you different and gets you standing out is you are the one writing about others in your industry. That’s going to get you a bucket load of respect, build lots of trust and gets eyeballs on you and your business.
I know what you’re thinking.
I can hear the cogs whirring in your head.
You’re thinking about adding yourself to this “Best” list, aren’t you?
As tempting as it is, it’s a good idea is to leave yourself off the “best” list.
Add yourself to the list and your reader will think your blog is a bit of a cheesy gimmick and just a cheap trick to get them to pick you.
Leave yourself off it and it’s also a great piece of content to send those to that aren’t the right fit for you.
What content can you write that’s a “best” for products or services for your industry?
- A list of people or businesses you’d recommend for people that aren’t a fit for you or those they can contact if you’re too busy. You can keep adding to this list once you’ve created it.
- Create a list of the best businesses/people that are in your industry in your area and other parts of the country.
- Create a blog about best practices, best tools, best places, best tips, best books etc
Great best content examples:
Gillies and Mackay – Garden sheds Aberdeen. Who is the best?
Automation Ninjas – 4 of the best marketing books to read when you’re starting in marketing
There’s lots of independent websites and companies that are reviewing products or services (think Which? And Good Housekeeping).
If businesses did reviews of products or services that would be useful to their audience, they’d love you for it.
How much time you’d save them alone has to be worth a woohoo!
Remember this isn’t about YOUR products or services.
Your aim is to be so helpful to your audience they’ll become raving fans – whether they work with you or buy from you.
Remember the pool guy? Marcus Sheridan?
Well he wrote a Blog where he reviewed the best pools available from his competition and he based the content on the wants and needs of his audience. It was one of his most successful blogs and yes, it generated him sales.
What’s stopping you creating reviews about other products or services and adding them to your website?
You’re a nice person and you don’t want to say anything bad. If your review is honest and unbiased you’re helping the reader so you shouldn’t be afraid to say less than favourable things about it.
You’re a nice person so what if you say the product or service is good? The reader might think their product or service is better than yours. Yes, they might but if you’re focus is all about giving the most helpful and useful advice to the reader, you do it.
What content can you write that reviews products or services for your industry to help your audience?
There more review type content to write about than you think.
Review other businesses or companies in your industry
- If you’re a florist
- If you provide copywriting services
- If you’re a child-minder
you review the ones in your area.
Review products in your industry:
If you provide:
- water coolers to businesses
- coffee-machines to businesses
- mountain bikes
you write a review of the providers in the area.
Review tools specific to your industry:
If you’re a web designer, create content about Divi, Elementor and Beaver builder
If you’re a copywriter, create content about Grammarly, Hemingway app and Dupli checker.
Great review content examples:
6. How to …
When you have a problem and you want to find a solution you many times have you typed “How to…” into Google?
My hubby is always Googling “How to…” videos in YouTube for bike repairs.
Why “How To…” content is worth creating
It’s the type of content that helps you to get found online by people that have never heard of you before.
It’s also the type of content people will come to your website to look for specifically, once they realise you regularly share really useful and helpful content.
And you now know, THE MORE USEFUL AND HELPFUL YOU CAN BE TO YOUR AUDIENCE THE BETTER.
What’s the deal with “How to… Content?
When people are looking for “How to… content what I’m about to tell you is important.
THEY ARE NOT GOING TO BUY OR LOOK AT YOUR SALES PAGE.
But they are still really useful types of content to spend time creating.
Because if your reader learns what it was they wanted to learn and they learn it from YOU, they’re going to realise that you do know what you’re talking about.
In time, you could be the person they buy from. (Once you’ve built your trust and authority).
What content can you write that’s “How to…” for your audience?
Think about the people in your audience that are “Newbies” or “Beginners” and what they could be struggling with.
Aim for your “How to…” content to teach them something useful.
Use this Pain and Solution exercise if you’re struggling to come up with ideas.
What is it they’re struggling to achieve?
PAIN: They want to draw a face but they’ve never drawn anything more than a stick man
SOLUTION: How to draw a face for beginners.
PAIN: They’ve seen videos on Facebook with captions, and they want to add them to their videos.
SOLUTION: How to add captions to your video for Facebook.
Here’s some more “How to…” ideas:
- How to change a tyre and inner tube without levers
- How to find your audience on Twitter
- How to repurpose your content
- How to plan your marketing content
What other useful “How to…” content is your audience looking for?
You can create content that’s specific to your business, products or service.
- How to find us.
- How to spread the cost.
- How to book your tickets.
- How to cancel.
- How to login to your online course.
Great “How to…” content examples
Marketing Ninjas – How to create home buyer personas
Automation Ninjas – How to get more leads and why you need them to grow your business
To create and use your content to build and trust authority with your audience so you can sell more:
- Create content that helps them with their purchasing decision.
- Create content that’s inline with your buyer’s behaviour.
- Creat content that answers their big questions, worries and fears.
- Create content that’s useful and helpful.
- Create content that has a purpose.
How to answer “What do you do?” so your audience wants what you offer
Why you should stop worrying about marketing and do this instead
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